June 19, 2019

Congrats Family Fellowship Scholar Taylor

Family Fellowship

We are extremely proud of our Family Fellowship Scholar Taylor! This spring she graduates from the University of California Irvine with a degree in Biology. Taylor is a recipient of our first Family Fellowship cohort.

The Family Fellowship is the largest scholarship program for current and former foster youth in America. It was created to help support foster youth by creating familiar bonds, in addition to a monetary sponsorship.

Taylor is now part of the 3% of former foster youth with a college degree.

Who is Taylor

Taylor is from all over California. She loves hiking, nature, animals, painting, baking, and binging Netflix. Similarly, 70% of kids in foster care want to attend college. When asked why she chose to pursue college, Taylor responded, “To me, education has been my outlet and passion. I cannot imagine a time where I am not learning… (and) am always looking up research articles or new things. I think there is so much information out there, it would be a shame to try not to learn all I can.”

How has the Family Fellowship Helped

Unlike many scholarship programs, our Family Fellowship provides mentorship and guidance. When asked how the Family Fellowship impacted her collegiate experience Taylor stated,

“They’ve helped to keep me motivated. I think sometimes it is hard to push on when you doubt yourself and having someone else also believe in you gives more liability. I feel as though I need to finish my homework or my projects even when I’m not motivating myself but TWR and The Smiths put so much time and kindness in, that I owe it to them.”

Advice for Other Youth in Foster Care Who Want To Attend College

With so many kids in foster care wanting a college education and so few graduating. We asked Taylor what advice she would give?
She responded, “My advice, to anyone really, is to never let your experiences be an excuse or blockade. Do not let foster care keep you from developing meaningful relationships and use it as an excuse to treat people poorly. And also, do not let it be something that limits what you are able to do. It is definitely harder to get through college than some of your peers or friends, but it is possible and it is so rewarding to know you did.”

Closing Thoughts

So, now that Taylor is out for the summer she is already looking to pursue her Ph.D. “I think I’m looking forward to taking on the world, in any way I can.” We are here with you on that front Taylor!
When asked about her final thoughts regarding college, Taylor shared this realization, “I used to doubt people when they said college is the best time of their lives, but it has been incredible. “
We are so proud of Taylor and all our Fellowship Scholars. Please help us continue to support higher education opportunities for foster youth. Click here for more information on our Family Fellowship.

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